How to prioritize goals, to fulfill my plan to get to MBB

New answer on Jun 01, 2021
4 Answers
Anonymous A asked on May 29, 2021

Hi, guys, I am currently working at Strategy&, with a focus on M&A related strategy. I am planning to re-apply to MBB in 5-6 montsh. I was rejected by a firm last year, while I was not invited for interview by the other 2 MBB firms. Currently, I have too much goals on my mind which I couldn't clearly prioritize. Please let me know if you have any advice:

Goal 1: take CFA L2 exam 3 months later (already started studying but lagging behind my study schedule).

Goal 2: take financial modeling courses and enhance skills. (I've purchased online couses, which would take me100+hours to complete. I want to improve this skill as it is my weakness at my current role.)

Goal 3: get a MBB offer this year (my main goal). (I've practiced 80+cases last year but still failed. Therefore, I purchased a few online course, which would take me 50-100 hours approximately. I am also considering doing 1 case per week.

My question is: given that I am planning to apply in 5-6 months, am I "over-preparing" at this stage? Also, does passing CFA level 2 really add much value to my application (I'm thinking of applying to more corporate finance related practice at MBB)? I am considering withdrawing from the CFA exam as I want to focus more on skill building (financial modeling and consulting skills). The reason I registered at first was because I wanted to learn more finance knowledge and thought that it may boost my CV, as I failed to pass many firm's screening. However, I realized that developing financial modeling and practical finance knowledge seems more like a practical skill that I could utilize at work.

Really appreciate your advice!


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Content Creator
replied on May 30, 2021
#1 Coach for Sessions (4.000+) | 1.400+ 5-Star Reviews | Proven Success (➡ | Ex BCG | 9Y+ Coaching

Hi there,

I read recently a simple but great tip to increase productivity.

Divide the activities you want to do into 3 groups:

  1. Those directly leading to your goal – mark them as “A
  2. Those that may or may not lead to your goal – mark them as “B
  3. Admin stuff – not leading to your goal but you need to do them anyway – mark them as “C

The tip was simple. Delegate C, eliminate B and do only A.

From what you wrote, goals 1 and 2 are B, and goal 3 is A.

So if I were you, I would go 100% with Goal 3. You can leave 1 and 2 as “hobbies” if you have time, but focus on what is the real priority first.

In terms of getting the interviews: the #1 thing to increase your chances is not financial modeling or CFA but getting a referral. You can find more on that here:



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Content Creator
updated an answer on May 29, 2021
Accenture, Deloitte | Precision Case Prep | Experienced Interviewer & Career Coach | 15 years professional experience


Am going to be blunt- if you are doing things to make your CV look good or get an interview at firm X , its not going to really work out for you in the long run. If you are investing all this time & effort to pursue these "goals" they better mean something to you- you must have a genuine desire to learn those skills and enjoy the process. Otherwise whats the point?

Not lets assume you really are passionate about CFA & Financial modelling courses, then the question of prioritisation doesnt arise. You will make it work & enoy the learning. You will also put those skills to good use. I have come across too many candidates doing things for all the wrong reasons and wasting valuable time & effort.

6 months is plenty of time to prepare well for MBB/Consulting firms provided you have a clear plan and invest the time needed. If getting into MBB means more than CFA, then postpone CFA to after. Unless you are going for a corp finance/accounting job, its not going to make a huge difference in your CV and in the interview process.

All the best.


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Anonymous A on May 29, 2021

Thanks for the advice! Actually I am still interested in learning the knowledge covered in CFA, but the major reason was to "boost CV", as I realize the CFA content isn't that applicable in my job.

Content Creator
replied on May 29, 2021
Ex-McKinsey London final round interviewer

It's hard to say without knowing the "issue" behind why you have been unsuccessful in the past. As you say, a CFA could be beneficial on paper but is not a requirement, and financial modelling is another one that doesn't really help you "get in" to an MBB either. On your case prep, considering you are already working as a consultant, I think it's less about the quantitity and more focused practice of your intrinsics (e.g., structuring, conceptual thinking, etc.).

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Content Creator
replied on Jun 01, 2021
MBB | 100% personal interview success rate (8/8) and 95% candidate success rate | Personalized interview prep

Hi there,

I think the main thing you're missing is what is your ultimate goal? I think you're close in saying "I want MBB". But I think you also need to define your ultimate goal in your career. Does MBB enable it, or is MBB the end goal?

I can tell you a few of my thoughts from reading your post:

  1. CFA L2 Exam does not materially boost your chances of getting invited to interview at MBB
  2. Financial modeling courses do not materially boost your chances of getting invited to interview at MBB
  3. You have done too many cases. Furthermore, online courses are not the route at this point. Online courses are great for the beginner to intermediate levels. You are trying to be advanced. Stop with the rote practice, quantity-over-quality approach! Get a coach to really hone in on and fix your weaknesses!
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Francesco gave the best answer


Content Creator
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